Mug Painting at Glazed Expressions

I don’t buy too many Groupons these days, but when I do, they’re usually for trying new things, like mug painting!

Katherine, Joanna, and Gina joined me for a little breakfast at Summerhouse Santa Monica, followed by mug painting and mimosas at Glazed Expressions (yes, it’s BYOB!).

Now, you may ask, why mugs? Yes, I already have many in my cabinet. Yes, I could go out and buy one. But for the same price, I can design a mug myself with my friends. 

We made our appointment for a Saturday at 11 am, so we were the first in the shop to paint. Bobby greeted us, and led us to our table. She showed us which mugs were included in the Groupon price, and we all chose big, wide mugs. 

Once more people came, we all got a tutorial on how to paint the mugs, how to use different tools, etc. In looking at others’ mugs for inspiration, I really liked a mug that had an ombré effect. I committed to that style and chose three shades of pink.

Bobby gave me directions on how to do the ombré: using a sponge, start with the lightest color and paint upward. Blend the next color to make a smooth transition, and then do again with a third color. I did three coats of this, and sponge painted the inside of the mug the darkest color. 

The paint is lighter and more matte before its fired, but I could tell already I loved it. What I also loved is that we all took different techniques when painting our mugs, including using tape and toothbrushes to create different effects.

When I picked the mugs up this week, I was so impressed with our work. I used my mug for my Sunday morning coffee (don’t you dare think you’ll get a pic of that, haha), and it wasn’t too heavy to hold and fit all of the coffee I needed.

I love these types of experiences: doing something creative with good friends. I hate to admit (but it’s obvious) that I don’t get out too much, so I really enjoy the moments I do! (Nothing against my family. ❤️) 

Anyone interested in coming next time?

Glazed Expressions
717 West Armitage
Lincoln Park




When our friends Scott and Katherine asked us to go to brunch, I gave them the difficult task of choosing our meeting place. All of their options were great, but Gather‘s menu looked too good to pass up.

So we recently headed north to Lincoln Square, which we haven’t explored all too much, but my God, is that area cute.

We checked in and waited for our friends at the bar, which is located across from a quaint kitchen counter where you can eat and watch the chefs create. Love this element of intimacy and the ability to chat with the chefs.

Soon after we sit down we met Scott, the bartender, who quickly talks us into a mimosa and a Bloody Mary. Scott was great, making us laugh and telling us his favorite dishes on the brunch menu (the Skillet, Chicken Fried Biscuit, and the Corn Griddle Cake). When Scott and Katherine arrived, we sat down and were pleasantly surprised that Scott was also our waiter.

We started with the donut and sticky bun (hello! yum!) that are perfect for sharing, followed by the Benedict for me, the Sunday Omelete for Katherine, the Skillet for Nate, and the Cured Salmon for Scott.

Let me tell you, the presentation of these dishes were so good, I was inspired. It really makes such a difference when your dish is just as pleasing to the eye as it is to taste. Since then, I’ve really tried to work on my presentation with the meals I make at home (check Twitter @secondcitygal for photos).

Can I also mention that they do something to their home fries that should be illegal. I don’t know what it is but they are whole potatoes that are perfectly crispy on the outside and warm and soft on the inside (I probably don’t want to know how they’re made!). The rest of my Benedict was good, too–fresh and thoughtfully prepared. Everyone was pretty pleased with their dishes.

As if these potatoes could keep me away, Gather also has a Sunday Dinner that I just need to try. Served family style, you enjoy a meal of three entrees for the table with sides and sticky buns for dessert. This traditional dinner concept is a must for me (want to come with?).

Lastly, this post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning that I didn’t sit outside, but their outdoor space looked amazing. I need to go back to sit out there, too.

Whether you’re looking for a tasty brunch or family style dinner, you’ll find excellent service and delicious comfort food at Gather.

4539 North Lincoln Ave.
Lincoln Square






Week #26 – REVISIT: Terra Incognito Studios

I’ve reached the half-way mark of my blog! Yay! Thank you to everyone who has kept up week after week.

When I think back on all of the activities I’ve done so far, our lace plate class was one of my favorites because it was so different from anything I’ve done in a long time. Melissa, Katherine, and I recently returned to make another place, this time with our friend Kelly! See our creations below!

I decided to stick with the hunter green color but used a different lace design. I want to have a set of four! Groupon, when will you have the next deal? I’ll be sure to let everyone know when I sign up again.

Terra Incognito Studios
246 Chicago Ave
Oak Park

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